"Banned Books Week" at Gulf Coast Community College

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Gulf Coast theater students presented excerpts from two banned books, "Tom Jones" and "The Phantom Tollbooth." Artists used sidewalk paintings to bring censored books to life on the pathway by the Student Union.

Earlier this week, students hosted a "read-in" for the community. Banned books have provided some controversy here in Bay County. In the late-1980's, the school superintendent proposed banning books like "The Merchant of Venice," "The Old Man and the Sea" and other classics from area schools.

That never happened, due to a lawsuit filed on constitutional grounds. Gulf Coast faculty members say it's important to read the books and make the determination for yourself.

Jason Hedden, assistant professor of theater, says, "It's about exposing students and the community to works of art that have been censored and some times unrightly so. I would hate to be the person that had to sit at that meeting and make that decision."

Coincidentally, the Gulf Coast Theater Department is presenting "The Phantom Tollbooth" this weekend. Tickets are still available for the Saturday matinee. For more information, contact Gulf Coast's theater department at (850) 872-3886.

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